Change to FAA Drone Rules Could Benefit Indiana Economy

1The Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to release proposed regulations for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (U.A.S), commonly referred to as drones. As of right now, the use of drones is limited to hobbyists and a small number of researchers, businesses and government agencies. The new rules are expected to cover altitude limits and license requirements and will open the doors to using drones in a number of new ways.

Chapter President of the Indianapolis Drone User Group, T.J Johnson stated that agriculture is an area that could benefit from the use of drones. According to him, they could be used for crop monitoring and targeting problems. Johnson says the farming industry could be more efficient and provide better food sources with the assistance of drones.

Dick Honeywell, the executive director of the Indiana U.A.S Center, said these policy changes will allow Indiana to use drones in a number of different productive applications such as inspecting bridges, police search and rescue efforts and correctional facility surveillance. He claims these applications will support economic development within the state.

The U.A.S market is projected to be an $82-billion industry and has the potential to create 100,000 jobs over the next decade.

Despite the proposed economic advantages, a number of individuals have privacy concerns about drones. The Federal Aviation Administration stated this was not an immediate safety concern, however President Obama is supposed to release an executive order about the privacy issue after the FAA releases the draft regulations.